I bit my tongue and responded very little as I listened to my family member’s perspective, realizing we had very different views on some of the things happening in our current culture. But the next day I kept replaying in my mind the previous night’s phone conversation. “How could he take that position on these issues? Was he being influenced by other family members? For a man who loves the Lord, how could he hold those opinions?”
Looking to others for approval and value
As I thought about these questions, I felt myself becoming more upset, angry and judgmental. Why was I so bothered because this person did not share my views? Who gave me the right to judge? Admittedly, sinful fear also entered into my response. Would he have a lower opinion of me if I did not agree with him? How would it affect our relationship? How would my world change if more people held his political views?
Because I knew my thoughts did not reflect a God-honoring attitude, I decided to sort these things out with the Lord. “Lord, what do I really want? Why did I need this person to see things my way?”
As I prayed about the situation, the Lord began to reveal the inner issues of my heart. Yes, I wanted this man to agree with me and value me as a thoughtful, intelligent person. I wanted his respect and esteem. I looked to this person’s approval to give me value, and I based that approval on his agreeing with me.
Why did I need the approval of a person to give me value? The Bible is very clear when it says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Lord of fulfilling purposes
As I turned my thoughts to the Lord in prayer, the Holy Spirit began to bring to mind Jesus’ role in my situation. Colossians 3:1 says, “If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”
My unsettled feelings revealed my need to remember Christ is Lord. He holds the future. Regardless of what political party or worldviews rule my culture, the Lord will fulfill his purpose for me and his divine purposes for all of history. Psalm 138:8 clearly says, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”
Value through Jesus Christ
And God’s love demonstrated for me at the cross, forgiving me all my sins, assures me I am valued in his sight. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
When Christ died for my sins and rose again, I died and rose with him. John 1:12 assures me that all who recognize Jesus as Savior find their value, not in man’s opinion, but in who they are in the Lord Jesus Christ. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” I am a daughter of the King of Kings!
Replacing fear with faith
As I reflect on who Jesus Christ is to me and me to Him, peace replaces fear. I begin to find my value in his love for me, secure in his sovereign care. I remember, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me” (Song of Solomon 7:10). I can stop seeking the approval of others, and I can respectfully disagree with them, placing myself in the Lord’s care. Rather than judge the approval of others by whether or not they agree with me, I find we can love one another despite our different views.
Will I face the next conversation about cultural issues with perfect peace? It’s likely my stomach will begin to tighten and fears begin to surface, but by faith, I trust the Lord will remind me that differing opinions don’t change my value as a child of God, that he is Lord over my future. By faith in Christ my objective is no longer “to be right” or “to be valued” by others, but to reflect a trust in the Lord that honors and glorifies him.
After retiring as a Product Manager for a software company, Sandy and husband, Garry, returned to Barrington nearly five years ago, and became members at The Orchard. Sandy loves being mother to four grown children and grandmother to five. Indulging her passion for words, Sandy enjoys freelance writing; she also loves co-leading a LIFE Group, working jigsaw puzzles, frequenting local coffee shops, and entertaining family and friends.